2020 Leadership Conference

WELS Congregational Services hosted the first ever WELS National Conference on Lutheran Leadership in Chicago, Jan. 21–23, 2020. Approximately 800 people—including both called workers and lay members, representing about 350 WELS congregations—met to hear five plenary speakers and attend a selection of breakout sessions.

“The focus of the conference was that we want to do all we can with the gospel to serve Christ’s mission,” says Rev. Jonathan Hein, coordinator of WELS Congregational Services. “ ‘Doing all we can with the gospel’ requires leaders to focus on two things. First, we look at tactics. Is the way we are carrying out gospel ministry smart?”

He continues, “But underneath tactics is congregational culture. The group—the collective—needs to have the right thoughts, habits, and attitudes. That was what the plenaries were all about.”

Attendees were treated to a preview of the new hymnal, set to be released by Advent 2021. Maintaining the name Christian Worship, the new hymnal comprises a suite of resources, including a stand-alone psalter, musical arrangements for various instrumentation, and a service folder builder. Conference worship services and devotions used liturgical and hymn arrangements from the new hymnal.

The conference planning committee is exploring options for a second WELS National Conference on Lutheran Leadership, likely sometime in 2022. Learn more and watch videos of select presentations at lutheranleadership.com.